Published: February 2010
The Science of Speed: Running Clothes
High-tech foams. Über-precise body mapping. And, of course, that whole “barefoot” thing. A new age of running is upon us—here are the shoes and apparel leading the way.
Text by Brian Metzler

WOMEN'S

1. Core Component - Columbia’s Trailhead top is such a good basic tee—stretchy, sweat wicking, sun blocking—that you’ll probably want to get more than one. And thanks to the affordable price, you can ($35; columbia.com).

2. Speedster - No matter how fast you run, the Brooks Epiphany Stretch Short II will stay out of your way. The spandex-polyester racer allows full range of motion, along with breathable side panels and a comfortable, rollover waistband ($32; brooksrunning.com).

3. Cover-Up - Throw on the Sugoi Helium jacket for blustery training days. The three-ounce water-resistant shell offers shelter without smothering (note the athletic cut and four-way stretch), and it packs down to the size of an apple ($100; sugoi.com).

MEN'S

4. Transformer - Maybe it’ll rain, maybe it won’t—either way, Pearl Izumi’s Fly Evo softshell has you covered. It’s wind- and waterproof across the front and over the shoulders, and supremely breathable everywhere else ($160; pearlizumi.com).

5. Eco-Tee - Like any good technical top, the Under Armour Catalyst wicks away moisture, wards off odor, and protects against the sun (it’s UPF 50+). But unlike others, it’s made from recycled plastic bottles, putting it in a class of its own ($30; underarmour.com).

6. Smart Storage - Finally, a place to stash your GU. The Merrell Badlands short’s webbing belt makes it easy to secure gel packs to your waist, sans duct tape. It also sports a zippered pocket that will hold keys and an MP3 player ($45; merrell.com).